I was born with chronic kidney disease. At time of conception, my mom was addicted to drugs, so my grandmother became my legal guardian. She raised me in the Outer Mission/Excelsior District.
I was 22 when my grandmother passed away. I ended up homeless, living in the back of a U-Haul. My kidney function dropped to 15%, the last step before renal failure. It was my doctor who told me about Larkin Street.
Now I’m in the Rising Up program. I live in a 4-bedroom apartment with housemates. Rent is expensive, but I have a place that’s mine. My case manager never stops pushing me. I’m in the GED program. I have a job and a therapist. The approach is working.
I still remember my first day in the program. As soon as I sat down on the bed, I took a deep breath. “I’m inside now,” I thought. At that moment, I realized that my future is what I make of it. It’s not easy, but this program gives you the tools. It’s up to you to create your future.